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Naldo saves Schalke in eight-goal derby thriller

Berlin (AFP) – Former Borussia Dortmund player Naldo sealed Schalke’s thrilling four-goal fightback against his old club with a 94th-minute header that saw the Ruhr derby finish in a frantic 4-4 draw.

Brazilian defender Naldo’s last gasp header brought Schalke back from the dead against troubled, 10-man local rivals Dortmund after going four down after just 25 minutes to snatch a dramatic Bundesliga point.

Schalke, who are unbeaten since September, are third in the table, three points ahead of fourth-placed Dortmund, and five behind leader Bayern Munich, who play later at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The hosts had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sent off in the 72nd minute for two yellow cards with the score 4-2 after giving Dortmund an early lead, but Borussia’s defence collapsed in the second-half.

Aubameyang had broken his five-game goal drought in the 2-1 Champions League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday

The disastrous defeat increases the pressure on head coach Peter Bosz after leaving Dortmund winless in their last six league games.

The biggest win in a Ruhr derby — 10-0 to Schalke in 1940 — looked under threat when Dortmund raced into a 4-0 lead.

Christian Pulisic’s cross was flicked on by Nuri Sahin to the far post where Aubameyang slid the ball home on 12 minutes.

Dortmund doubled the lead six minutes later when Sahin’s free-kick was volleyed into his own net by Schalke midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, who was then beaten for pace on the flank by Aubameyang, before the Gabon international fired in a superb cross for Mario Goetze to head in the third on 20 minutes.

Schalke looked dead and buried when Raphael Guerreiro volleyed home Dortmund’s fourth with just 25 minutes on the clock.

– Attacking in waves –

In a bid to avert a debacle, Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco brought on midfielders Leon Goretzka and 20-year-old Amine Harit on 34 minutes, which tightened things in the middle, and after coming to their senses, it was a totally different story for Schalke in the second-half.

The away side won their tackles and pulled their first goal back when Stambouli’s long floated pass was headed home by striker Guido Bergstaller on 61 minutes.

Harit made it 4-2 four minutes later, taking advantage of terrible defending to fire home at close range.

Schalke were now attacking in waves, and Aubameyang was given his marching orders on 72 minutes after clattering Harit and being given his second booking.

Dortmund were holding on by their fingernails by the time midfielder Daniel Caligiuri buried Schalke’s third on 86 minutes in a frantic finale that included seven minutes of stoppage time.

Schalke deservedly got their equaliser when Naldo escaped his marker at a corner and powered home his header, sparking wild celebrations among the travelling fans.

Tensions boiled over after the leveller and both Sahin and Schalke captain Ralf Faehrmann received yellow cards after the final whistle as both teams got into a shoving match.

Elswehere, RB Leipzig remain second after their 2-0 win at home to second-from-bottom Werder Bremen with goals from Liverpool-bound midfielder Naby Keita and Brazilian defender Bernardo.

Bayer Leverkusen moved up to sixth with a 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt with Germany forward Kevin Volland scoring the winner.

Michael Gregoritsch and Alfred Finnbogason scored for mid-table Augsburg as they came from behind to seal a 2-1 win over ten-man Wolfsburg, who had Maximilian Arnold sent off after only 11 minutes.

That was Wolfsburg’s first defeat since losing to Stuttgart in September.

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